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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Master Plant Sciences

Plant-microbe interactions

Plant Sciences platform


Université Paris-Saclay specific Teaching Unit


Marie GARMIER (UFR Sciences - Université Paris-Saclay).


Bachelor's level knowledge bases in Life Sciences on the biology of microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, viruses) and plants, as well as in molecular biology and genetics.


Plants interact with microorganisms in their environment and have to constantly adapt to these. Microorganisms can therefore exert negative (pathogenic) or beneficial (symbiosis) interactions on plants in natural ecosystems and agrosystems. This issue is particularly topical in a context where agricultural practices are to guarantee yields while preserving the environment.

At the end of the TU, students will be able to describe: 1) the biology of the main parasitic and symbiotic microorganisms (fungi, oomycetes, bacteria, viruses) in association with their host plants and their strategies for plant infection and colonization, 2) the strategies enabling plants to control these microorganisms (immunity), 3) the epidemiological factors involved in the occurrence and spread of diseases, and 4) the main protection methods for sustainable disease management. At the end of the practical sessions, students will have identified and implemented techniques classically used in plant pathology to determine the level of resistance of a plant to different pathogens. The students will be able to gather, in a limited time, the key elements of a plant pathology topic in order to provide an oral presentation in an assigned format.


The TU takes place over two consecutive weeks at the Institut des Sciences des Plantes de Paris Saclay (bât. 630, UFR Sciences - Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay). The lectures allow to build a knowledge foundation on plant-microorganism interactions, on the level of both plants and microorganisms. These notions are illustrated and reinforced during interactive tutorials which are based on the analysis of results from scientific articles. Techniques commonly used in plant pathology are implemented during practical sessions to characterize the level of resistance of different genotypes of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to different pathogens. Throughout the TU, students work in groups, with the support of a referent teacher, on a plant-microorganism interaction to prepare a synthetic oral presentation that is graded based on a scientific poster or Powerpoint presentation. The evaluation also includes a written exam (out of the TU) of 2 hours.


  • Phytopathologie, Philippe Lepoivre, 2003, De Boeck Supérieur
  • Plant Pathology, Agrios, 5th ed, 2005, Academic Press
  • Symbiose, Marc-André Selosse, 2000, Vuibert
  • Hungry Planet: Stories of Plant Diseases, Gail L. Schumann and Cleora J. D’Arcy, 2017, The American Phytopathological Society (APS).

Mandatory TU
Lectures: 26.5h, Tutorials: 9.5h, TP: 9h, Mentoring: 10h
Location: Orsay